Letter from the campus head

29 September 2017

Dear Parents and Staff

As I write this letter, it is just our Grade 6 boys and girls we are waiting for to return from camp.  From all accounts, it does sound like all the Grade 4-7 children had a wonderful time outside of school and no doubt will love being back in their own beds tonight and the comfort of mom or dads (some of us do cook J) food!

Thank you for allowing our staff to have this shared memory with your children.  I would also like to thank all of our teachers who took time away from their own families to be with our children this week.  It wasn’t too long ago when I went on various camps and tours with pupils and what would always strike me is how well you would get to know each and every member of the group.  You would often see the children in a very different light to the child in the classroom, barriers such as buildings and walls can often create compliance over freedom.  When children are given the freedom of space and to discover their world in a less traditional environment this certainly does provide an authentic learning experience where perhaps the journey to solutions and answers is actually far more important than the answer itself!

Having recently returned from The International Confederation of Principals Conference hosted here in Cape Town this year, dare I say it, that the same applies to adults when taken out of their usual “habitat”.  I really was privileged to be able to listen to some brilliant speakers and allowed the opportunity to learn and to reflect on all we do back here at school.   I will be sharing this with you all next term through various communications.

Having listened to Prof Adam Habib, the Vice-Chancellor of WITS, last year and again this year with his reflections of 2016, the year of #feesmustfall, it further hit home to me that we are living in interesting times and in particular in our country.  Now instead of the usual negative banter and political bashing, so prone to us South Africans, it was heartening to take a very simple message out of Prof Habib’s talk.  The centre of all his decisions last year was to ensure the academic year would be finalised and all the students could finish their year.  Yes, it took private security, police intervention etc to ensure this, but ultimately the examinations were written and the students finished their respective academic years and most importantly there were no fatalities.  Here it reminded me again, that every decision we make at school needs to be in the best interest of the children and this needs to be the centre of all our decisions as ultimately it is the boys and girls who are our most important stakeholders!  He also mentioned that “the world has never been as divided as it is right now!”  But that is an entire newsletter on its own saved for another time.

We trust you all will have a wonderful time with your children over this short break and find time to share your own memories together.  We wish our Grade 7 UK Exchange boys and girls a safe trip to Holmewood House Prep, as well as our U11 and U13 Cricket boys touring in Knysna and East London respectfully during this short spring break.

Finally, I would like to thank our PA committee, Parents and all our boys and girls for the special tea and amazing notes many of us received last week Friday for a special teacher appreciation day. Whilst I was away, it was such a lovely surprise to come back to my study and to see all the notes on my desk, many written so truthfully and from the heart of our pupils here at St George’s. The picture to the right is one of the notes I received, and it really is my hope and all the staff’s to be all of that and more!

Kind regards
Alex Hall – Campus Head
Twitter- @AlexHallZA 
Facebook- https://www.facebook.com/AlexHallZA
Linkedin- za.linkedin.com/in/alexhallza

Staff News

It is with great sadness that we need to inform you, that Mrs Mary-Lou Emslie will be leaving us at the end of the fourth term to take up a position at Heatherbank School.  Mrs Emslie has been with us since 1991 and has loved her time at St George’s Prep.  We thank her for all she has contributed during her time with us.  She will be sorely missed and we wish her everything of the best in her new position where we know she will make a significant difference.

School News

School Matters – Fourth Term 2017

School will reopen on Monday, 9 October.  Summer uniforms are to be worn by ALL pupils on the first day ofTerm 4.

In Term 4, we will return to wearing school uniform every day.  Blazers are optional in summer except for school functions.  Grades 3 – 7 pupils will change into their sports kit for their afternoon activities.

Please note the following exceptions:

  • Grade 1      Monday, Tuesday and Thursday (sports clothes to be worn to school due to PT and afternoon sport)
  • Grade 2      Monday and Wednesday (sports clothes to be worn to school due to PT and afternoon sport)
  • Grade 3      Thursday (sports clothes to be worn to school due to PT class)

On the first day school will close at the following times :

  • Grades 1 and 2                  13:00
  • Grades 3 – 7                        13:55

Aftercare commences on Monday, 9 October
Sport, extra mural activities and Grade 4-7 Prep will commence on Tuesday, 10 October.

I would like to remind parents that from the first day of next term navy wide brim hats are compulsory for all pupils from Grade 1-6.  Grade 7 pupils are exempt from having to buy and wear the new hat as it is their last term at the Prep but are encouraged to wear their caps.  The hats are available to buy from the School Shop.

School Office

The Prep school and finance offices will be closed from Monday 2 October and will re-open on Monday 9 October.

School Shop Opening Hours – 4th Term

The School Shop will open on Monday 9 October from 07h30 to 08h30 and from 12h30 – 14h30.

From Tuesday, the opening hours will be back to normal:

  • Mondays                             12h30 – 14h30
  • Tuesdays/Thursdays       07h30 – 09h00
  • Wednesdays                      12h30 – 15h30
  • Fridays                                  CLOSED

Locker Room and Lost Property Rules

The lost property has become a problem this term. Having replaced the lockers in the Grade 6 & 7 change rooms, we were hoping more pupils would make use of these facilities and start to take responsibility for their personal belongings.  Unfortunately, this has not been the case and less than 20% of these lockers are being used (the same can be said for the Grade 4 & 5 change rooms).  Work has already begun on the Grade 4&5 bathrooms and they will be complete on the children’s return.

We have tried talking to the pupils at lines and during assemblies and our Grade 7 monitors do their best, however, I am now appealing to the parents to assist us in this regard.

Please ensure that your child has a lock (combination or key) for their locker and ensure that ALL clothing, (including ties, blazers, socks, shoes), all stationery, and all sport clothing and equipment (eg. tennis rackets, hockey sticks, shin guards, takkies, sport socks) are marked clearly with your child’s name.  Please also label lunch boxes and cool drink bottles.

When purchasing 2nd hand items, please ensure your child’s name is clearly marked and erase previous owner’s names.

For your convenience, the School Shop and 2nd Hand Shop can provide information on labelling companies.  A cash incentive is given to St George’s Prep based on the amount purchased from these companies

I would like to appeal to all parents to please check at home for ‘extra’ clothing (uniforms, blazers, sports kit etc) that has been brought home in error and return items to the office.

Updating of information

You are reminded to keep the school office informed of any changes to your address, e-mail and telephone numbers.

Our Social Media Presence

Our school’s Social Media presence is growing by the day and I encourage you all to follow us on Twitter @SGSchoolsPE and on our Facebook page using the link https://www.facebook.com/pages/St-Georges-Preparatory-School/109880722428084.

Please like our Facebook page, so that posts will then be seen in your newsfeed

Upcoming Events for Term 4

 

Reading Week: 18-22 September 2017

Reading Week was an exciting time for the pupils as we celebrated reading as a whole school. Various activities were planned throughout the week, culminating in a ‘Dress as a Book Character’ day on Friday.

As part of our Community Outreach Programme, all pupils were asked to donate a book (in good condition), to Arcadia Primary School.

We would like to thank you for your generosity as many book donations were received.  The quality was such that any librarian would be proud to have them in their Library.  I am sure the pupils of Arcadia Primary School will get much enjoyment reading these new books.

We are very proud to have made a difference to a community close to us!

For the full photo gallery of the event, please visit our facebook page.

St George’s Prep “Celebrating the Arts” Exhibition: 20 – 24 September 2017

The St George’s Preparatory School held our Celebrating the Arts visual art exhibition from 20 – 24 September featuring Bretten-Anne Moolman and many other well-known Eastern Cape artists in our Jan Immelman Hall.

The Grade 5 – 7’s were treated to an art talk from our VIP artist, Bretten-Anne Moolman, and there were more class visits during the day from the Prep and Pre-Prep.

A Peek around the School

For all of our photo galleries, please visit our facebook page.

Grade 4 – 7 Camps

Our Senior Preppies from Grade 4 – 7 are enjoying their camps at various locations around the Eastern Cape

The Grade 6’s created their book reviews on t-shirts

A lovely opportunity for some of our drama students to chat live on Kingfisher FM  about the drama performances they will be performing on today, Friday 29 September at 11h45, as part of the entertainment programme at the Kids and Baby Expo Port Elizabeth